Ballplayers shine in summer

Consistent playing served Eagles well in summer league baseball.

Photo+Courtesy+of+Neil+Morgan+Athletics

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Photo Courtesy of Neil Morgan Athletics

Keaton Moore, Writer

According to Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours to achieve greatness. A few players on Biola’s baseball team moved closer to greatness by playing for a number of summer league teams throughout California.

Achieving greatness

Although each summer league provides a number of teams for players to compete on and refine their athletic abilities, they are designed much differently than what the Eagles experience at Biola. A major difference, which senior catcher Sam Thorne and senior right-handed pitcher Sean McCarrell specifically experienced, was a non-Christian atmosphere. Thorne spent his summer playing for the San Diego Force, where he batted .437, won the Southern California Collegiate League championship and finished third in the NBC World Series.

“It is a totally different environment, given that at Biola it is a Christian environment and that is emphasized. But you get out there and it is not really emphasized,” Thorne said. “I think getting out there gives you a taste of the real world.”

McCarrell pitched on a team called the Orange County Surf and experienced a much different summer than his teammates. While he pitched on the weekends, McCarrell also worked an internship during the week and still put up impressive numbers for the Surf. From the bullpen, McCarrell was 1-1 with a 2.94 ERA through 18.1 innings pitched.

On the other hand, senior right-handed pitcher Jimmy Gallarda and sophomore right-handed pitcher James Goodwin, Jr. both played on a Christian affiliated team, supported by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Each appreciated the Christian brotherhood they built on the team and it showed through their impressive summer results.

ace-like pitching

Gallarda flashed ace-like pitching for the Southern California Catch, posting a 4-2 record with a 2.01 ERA, the second lowest in the California Collegiate League. Not only did he strike out eight batters in a row during an 11-strikeout game, Gallarda also went on a 15.2 scoreless streak through three games and two shutouts.

“The Catch offers something that a lot of other summer teams do not,” Gallarda said. “It is the experience and community, it is easy to play summer ball with a lot of guys who actually want to hang out with you and have a summer relationship.”

His Catch teammate, Goodwin, got off to a rough start in relief, but eventually worked his ERA down to 6.94 and finished with a 2-0 record. Getting to play under the Eagle’s head coach Jay Sullenger, who also spent the summer coaching the Catch, is what drew Goodwin to join Biola’s squad.

“We had a really strong brotherhood in the team and we had a great connection in the team that was truly God within us,” Goodwin said. “It was more than baseball this summer and I got to know people from all over the country.”

With plenty of confidence, the Eagles are ready to show off their summer improvements in the upcoming 2016 baseball season.

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